Khalil Davis is a former sixth-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in his first full season with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Along with his twin brother Carlos, the two are competing, including against each other, for valuable real estate along the team’s defensive line depth chart, whether on the 53 roster. players or on the practice squad.
The two Nebraska alums, both in their third seasons in the NFL, run on third-team units, checking into the game in the second half last night. But it was Khalil who got the chance to cap a victory after winning practice for the offense with an exclamation mark.
Trailing by seven with three seconds left and recovering the ball at their own 25, the Seattle Seahawks had to resort to trickery to hope to score. A fake screen and three back passes later (one of which was actually a forward pass but not flagged), Davis came in unseen and put in a big hit on Tyler Mabry, the play resulting in a loss of 10 yards and a big reaction from head coach Mike Tomlin. .
Asked about “the finisher” by Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette after the game, Davis said, half-seriously: “I thought they were going to knee the ball and end the game. I said, ‘Dude, you wanna do a sleight of hand? Alright, I’ll call the game then”.
And he certainly did, not that there was much hope of altering the outcome at that time. He added, more seriously: “I was just playing until the game was over. I didn’t want a big shot, but they didn’t see me in the middle, so I just shot”.
It was by no means a questionable tackle, to be sure, just a rather emphatic tackle that is largely a by-product of it coming from an unintended angle for the runner. But it was a good way to end the game, for sure, and not a bad way for Davis to remind the coaches he was aiming for a spot on the roster.
Currently, the Steelers have 10 defensive linemen who have been on NFL rosters or are pedigree rookies. Cameron Heyward, Tyson Alualu and Larry Ogunjobi, along with third-round pick DeMarvin Leal, are your perceived locks. You also have Chris Wormley, Montravius Adams and Isaiahh Loudermilk all returning from last season.
Most likely, for either of the Davis brothers to make the 53-player roster, one of those bottom three will need to be seated, if not two, as it remains extremely rare for the Steelers to actually have seven. defensive linemen.
But the is room on an expanded 16-man training squad. Neither has more than two seasons accumulated, so they’re not even restricted by the limitation of no more than six veterans of any experience level. And it’s not unreasonable that the team has nine total defensive linemen between the 53-man roster and the practice squad.